There’s a six-game Premier League slate on tap this Saturday and plenty of intriguing sub-plots to examine at both ends of the league. Here are some players to consider at every position.
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Joel Robles – ($5,300) – Everton – Even after Everton conceded three times to Bournemouth last weekend, Robles is this week’s top goalie as the Toffees visit a Middlesbrough team that has scored a Premier League low 19 goals. Robles still managed eight fantasy points last weekend and is on 13 FPPG over the last five appearances.
Lee Grant – ($5,200) – Stoke City – Grant’s solid fantasy form between the sticks has dropped off ever so slightly, but he is still on 3.3 saves per game over his 19 appearances. Stoke’s home form has been immaculate of late, the Potters going six games unbeaten at the Bet365 Stadium. Palace are averaging a pitiful 0.57 goals scored per game since Sam Allardyce’s arrival and Grant looks an even safer pick than Robles right now in my opinion, especially at a price this tempting.
Darren Randolph – ($5,000) – West Ham – The Irons are finally in the Premier League’s top half following last weekend’s win at Southampton, and get to face a West Brom side who haven’t scored in three successive trips to the capital. West Ham tend to do well against everyone but the top six right now and have the third best ‘Won to Nil’ record at home in the top flight. Randolph showed with last weekend’s six saves and 15 fantasy points that he is more than capable of putting up big numbers.
Vito Mannone – ($4,300) – Sunderland – It goes without saying that last weekend was a cracking weekend for all involved at Sunderland, and Mannone’s eight saves to force a clean sheet was the icing on the cake. The Italian averages 4.5 saves per game, which is third in the Premier League and has now kept two consecutive clean sheets. Southampton’s record of five losses from the last six games makes me confident in Mannone at just $4,300.
Antonio Valencia – ($5,900) – Man Utd – James Milner’s price puts me off against a team as defensively sound as Spurs are and Man Utd’s right back, at almost $2K cheaper, is the better option this weekend in my opinion. Valencia has quietly been putting up very impressive numbers, hitting double digit fantasy points in four consecutive games. A large chunk of those points have come from crosses, a number where is averaging 9.25 per game over the last four, and he ranks higher than any other player apart from James Milner in that category with a total of 123 crosses.
Cedric Soares – ($5,100) – Southampton – Cedric loves a cross almost as much as Valencia and ranks fourth on the list of defenders with 93 crosses this season, something that would be higher were it not for the handful of games that he has missed. The Portuguese full back has hit double digit fantasy points in four of the last five games and averages 2.7 tackles won per game, second to only Oriol Romeu among Southampton players. It should be noted that even though Sunderland have not lost in two games, they are still bottom of the league, and the defensive nature of their game will allow Cedric to get forward at will. That’s something that usually results in plenty of fantasy points.
Erik Pieters – ($4,500) – Stoke City – As mentioned briefly above, Stoke have an excellent home record, and it plays into the hands of Pieters, who leads all defenders with 3.2 tackles won per game. Palace use the flanks a lot, and Pieters will embellish that tackles won figure against Wilf Zaha. With a clean sheet opportunity also high against Palace, Pieters could score a decent total.
Bryan Oviedo – ($4,100) – Sunderland – One of the glut of players that David Moyes brought from his former clubs, Oviedo was particularly impressive in the 4-0 romp at Palace as he finished up with nine tackles won and 16 fantasy points. That those points came without a goal is even better, and, in my opinion, you won’t find a defender who is better value than Oviedo this weekend.
Christian Eriksen – ($9.500) – Tottenham Hotspur – From a fantasy perspective, few players are more reliable than Eriksen. The Danish playmaker has hit double digit fantasy points in nine of the last 10 games including 18 fantasy points against Middlesbrough last weekend. Eriksen ranks fourth for crossing in the the top flight with a total of 148, and his 3.8 shots per game is third only to Sergio Aguero (4.2) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (4.1). Considering it’s also five games since Liverpool won or kept a clean sheet, Eriksen could hit double figures for fantasy points once again this weekend.
Robert Snodgrass – ($7,900) – West Ham – Snodgrass earned his first start for West Ham last weekend, scoring 7.8pts in the 3-1 win, and he is the team’s designated corner taker. That is key, as the aerial prowess of Andy Carroll is something the Scot can take advantage of. Snodgrass already has seven goals and three assists this season, averages 1.9 shots and 5.45 crosses per game and on home soil he’ll look to score a decent total.
Ross Barkley – ($6,800) – Everton – Whilst his teammate Romelu Lukaku took a lot of the plaudits thanks to his four-goal haul, Barkley still managed 27.8 fantasy points after scoring a goal and adding an assist. It was the Englishman’s sixth successive double digit fantasy point haul in a blue shirt, and it’s particularly pleasing to see such good cross-category scoring from him.
Romelu Lukaku – ($8,700) – Everton – Even I can’t ignore Lukaku’s efforts last weekend, when he hit 51.5pts in a 6-3 win over Bournemouth. Lukaku is now the Premier League top goal scorer and seemingly converts every chance his team mates create, something that is happening with regularity. Middlesbrough are defensively sound; however, Lukaku is likely to be too much for them.
Harry Kane – ($8,900) – Tottenham Hotspur – Kane continues to chug along nicely at the heart of the Spurs team, last weekend’s winning penalty against Middlesbrough his 14th goal in the Premier League this season. Hosts Liverpool have not kept a clean sheet in five games, Spurs are on a long unbeaten run and Kane has scored on his two career trips at Anfield.
Jermain Defoe – ($6,500) – Sunderland – No team in Premier League history has been more reliant on one player’s goals than Defoe, his brace last weekend taking the veteran poacher to 14 goals this season. That’s 58% of Sunderland’s goals, and he looks well placed to improve on those 14 goals in a home game against a Southampton team that cannot buy a win.
Andy Carroll – ($6,200) – West Ham – It’s now four goals in four games for the big centre forward, and he also averages some 2.2 shots per game, a category in which only Michail Antonio can boast a higher mark. Carroll against West Brom feels like a battle he will relish and this could be when we see a partnership between Carroll and Snodgrass start to blossom.